Question about 1996 Buick Regal Olympic Gold

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1996 Buick Regal, 96k miles - Recent purchase - doesn't seem right.

I bought this car from a trusted friend. It's been well maintained, as far as I can tell, but it seems a little off....

1- Runs LOUD.
rough & sputtery - idles very low at stops followed by slight hesitation upon acceleration. Sluggishness - feels as though I'm giving FULL gas, pedal to the floor, but only getting half the pickup. Gas mileage seemed better at one time.

2-Occasional scraping/grinding noise (not a squeel) on drivers side - ONLY when at a stop - goes away when I accelarate. Some days it's louder than the day before, some days it's quiet. Very hard to hear over at restaraunt drive thru's!

3-Rubbing noise from stearing wheel when turning. constant.

4-very strong smelling exhaust. No smoke though!

5-Clunking from underneath on rough roads or bumps.

6-ABS/ETS lights come on occasionally - I pull over and restart, they go away.

7-gas guage seems inaccurate - needle will go from nearly empty then back up to just under 1/4 without stopping. The day I bought it, LOW FUEL light was on - I filled up, it went off. LOW FUEL light has never come on since. Now when low, CHECK GUAGES lights up instead. It does go away after filling up.

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  • JLP08 Oct 26, 2008

    OOPS! It's a Skylark, NOT a Regal. Sorry.

  • JLP08 Oct 26, 2008


    2 - the grinding noise... not while stopping/not brake pads - brakes replaced in March.

    when sitting, at a light or drive thru - foot on the brake, or in P position too...

    Old BF seemed to think it was a belt issue... what belt? I dunno. (New serpentine belt in March as well) - He mentioned something about bypassing the A/C compressor, didn't know if it was possible - got me all upset... I stopped listening.


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Wow thats quite a list you have there,Sounds like brake pads need replacing for a start as that may be your grinding noise and that may be the reason the abs light comes on.You may want to put a bottle of injector cleaner in the fuel tank.the plugs and ignition also need to be checked for servicability.The clunk on rough roads sounds like shock absorber or suspension bushes that have worn out.The exhaust smell could be that the its running too rich(higher fuel consumption)due to dirty injectors.The steering wheel noise could be the cover rubbing on the back of the steering wheel.Also make sure the air cleaner is clean as that also could cause higher fuel consumption.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008

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Will your 'friend' take it back? 1 prob, likely a vaccum leak at the intake. 2 prob, at 'stopping'?? Brake pads. Stopped, good question. 3 prob, either the plastic cover or the horn pin under the steering wheel. 4 prob, This sounds like the exhaust 02 sensor is acting up. 5 prob, shock bushings or rubbers mounts on sway bar. Or the top bearing on a strut. 6 prob, Fixing the past probs 'may' solve this? 7 prob, Just live with this! You have enough on you plate already! Frankster016

Posted on Oct 26, 2008

  • frankster016 Oct 26, 2008

    You have made me feel sorry I tryed to help! Do check it into a shop. We have so little to work with, making it most difficult to pin-point so many probs! May I suggest to remove the fan belt and see if the 'grinding' noise goes away? If so, check the water pump and the alternator! Frankster016


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